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Lecture 5

Lecture 5-Language.doc

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Joe Kim

Language -Researchers have identifies 3 criteria that outline a culture 1. Language is regular, its governed by rules and grammar 2. Language is arbitrary, lack or resemblance b/w words and their meanings -Ex: nothing about the word cat that indicates its an animal with whiskers and a tail -If the sound we used to identify an object describes that object in a way, wouldn’t make sense to call the same object a cat in english and something else in a diff. language 3. Language is productive, limitless ways to combine words to describe objects/situations/actions TheWhorf-SapirHypothesis -Language and thought are not the same thing, but thoughts do take the form of language -language can influence how we perceive the world -Evidence for this hypothesis: study of the piraha, tribe of hunter-gatherers in brazil -Their language only has three words: one, two, many--> tribe has trouble understanding concepts b/c their language lacks words for these distinctions -Did a test, and their performance got shittier when there were more than three objects -Evidence also goes against this hypothesis-> cultures lack words for relatives -Ex: certain indian tribe uses a single word to describe elder male relatives, they do understand the diff. b/w these individuals tho -Whereas koreans have specific names for every member of family, two names for uncle StructureofLanguage -Morphemes: smallest unit of sound that contains info, a word can contain multiple, but can also make a word -All languages contain some sounds, words, symbols to transmit info-morphemes -Ex: table is a word contains one morpheme, tablecloth is a word that contains two, tables have two too, all have their own info -Not the smallest units of language, a morpheme can be broken down into a phoneme -Ex: dog has three phonemes--> D, O, G -Languages have their own distinct rules about the order in which sounds and words can be combined -Grammar/Syntax: Rules that govern how words are put together, differences vary in cultures -Ex: french fuckers have different words for masculine and feminine words, english fuckers don’t -Semantics: Meaning of each word -Sentence can have syntactical structure but have no meaning--> the colorless green ideas sleep furiously LanguageDevelopment 12 weeks: cooing sounds 16 weeks: turns head towards voices 6 months: imitates sounds 1 year: babbles 2 years:50-250 words uses 2 word phrases 2.5 years: vocab > 850 words -Infants can only express their needs with crying, not until they develop language that they can communicate whats on their mind -Production of language increases through infancy and childhood -Babies show signs of language skills such as smiling at someone, this is followed by babbling, drawn-out sounds made up a variety of vowels and consonants, sounds legit cause of rhythm -Then when they get older they start repeating certain sounds which then forms the first words -1.5-6 years: children enter language explosion, vocab and syntax increases rapidly -Language production/comprehension can be limited by cognitive development and other factors -Kid can comprehend language but is limited by vocal anatomy -Psychologists developed methods to test their comprehension by examining kids responses to verbal stimuli SegmentationProblem -When a person speaks another language, the others think that he’s just talking really fast, they’d have issues separating the individual words -wanted to know wether or not kids can recognize words -Kids who had large vocabs had shown good speech segmentation skills as an infant -Kids who had small vocabs had shown shitty speech segmentation skills as an infant -Infant Directed speech: tendency for mothers to use higher pitch and exaggerated changes in pitch when speaking to infants -Can help infants learn language DifferentPhonemes -Infants can discriminate more phonemes than adults -Ex: if you speak english, wont have issues b/w ra and la phonemes -If you speak korean, wont have issues b/w ja and jja, but english fucker will be like wtf? but korean fucker will obvs. understand, one means to sleep and ones salty -Universal Phoneme Sensitivity: ability of infants to discriminate b/w sounds they are tested on, adults cant do this -Researchers relied on head turn procedure to determine this -Training phase: infant learns to discriminate two diff. phonemes, when he does it to a new sound he gets a doll -Second phase: a phoneme becomes habituated when it gets over played and kid stops replying -Then their are intr
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